Gomez [Pen] (22)
  • 13 December 2014
  • Stadium of Light (41,694)
  • Premier League
West Ham United
Downing (29)
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Sunderland’s tenth draw of the season saw our winless run extended to six as we let slip a lead to notch our first home win since the start of October. The match followed the most predictable pattern with West Ham’s general approach revolving around Andy Carroll’s towering presence whilst SAFC were lacking the cutting edge that has so often eluded us this season.

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It was a first half of predominant lulls sprinkled with the odd moments that really should have led to more goals. Both teams showed some kind of purpose in attack on occasions though the defensive shape of both West Ham and Sunderland meant most of the time we were watching nothing. The Hammers were looking dangerous with Carl Jenkinson particularly testing Costel Pantilimon, but it would be the hosts who would take the lead in controversial fashion.

It came down the right hand side which is where we found a lot of space all game. Adam Johnson dribbled into the box before being brought down by James Tomkins. In truth, it’s as soft as they come and Sam Allardyce certainly ensured this was heard by the officials. Jordi Gomez dispatched the penalty kick decisively.

The equaliser was rather typical of both teams. West Ham have had a lot of success with long range efforts, particularly from former Black Cat Stewart Downing, his strike took a wicked deflection to beat Pantilimon.

Despite West Ham controlling much of the remaining first half, Sunderland were to create an opportunity so clear cut that gold wouldn’t go close to describing it. With the final kick, or rather handball, of the match, Jozy Altidore found himself merely three yards from goal after excellent play from the impressive Larsson. Visibly distract, the American trudged off the field wondering how he managed not to score and physicians everywhere are still baffled that he managed to handle the ball backwards.

Sunderland were much improved in the second half and would control large periods of it even if the creativity wasn’t always abundant. We looked out most potent with the introductions of Steven Fletcher and Ricky Alvarez, with the latter having a particularly positive impact on the game.

The only real moments of note was a penalty claim as Reid handled inside the penalty area. In light of the first decision, it comes as no surprise to see that this wasn’t given which was probably fair in the context of the whole game. Connor Wickham, who frustrated the life out of me throughout, finally decided to unleash a shot as he fashioned a yard of pace which forced an absolutely worldy of a save from Adrian.

In the end, a draw was probably fair. West Ham created more, we created the better chances, both goals were fortunate and in the end neither can really have a lot to grumble about. Are we going to pay the price for all of these draws come May? Maybe.

Costel Pantilimon
John O'Shea
Wes Brown
Santiago Vergini
Anthony Réveillère
Lee Cattermole
Sebastian Larsson
Jordi Gomez
Card (57)
Goal (22)
Adam Johnson
Ricky Alvarez (70)
Connor Wickham
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Jozy Altidore
Steven Fletcher (62)

Vito Mannone
Sebastian Coates
Liam Bridcutt
Jack Rodwell
Ricky Alvarez
Adam Johnson (70)
Will Buckley
Steven Fletcher
Jozy Altidore (62)
James Tomkins
Winston Reid
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Aaron Cresswell
Carl Jenkinson
Cheikhou Kouyate
Alexandre Song
Kevin Nolan
Enner Valencia (81)
Stewart Downing
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Goal (29)
Diafra Sakho
Andy Carroll

Jussi Jaaskaleinen
James Collins
Joey O'Brien
Morgan Amalfitano
Mauro Zarate
Enner Valencia
Kevin Nolan (81)
Carlton Cole
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